Steroids

Unveiling the Truth: 23 Steroids Questions and Answers .

questions and answers steroids faq 1

Here’s our research for the most popular steroids questions and answers – Many individuals engage in conversations about anabolic steroids, pondering their use or the repercussions therein.

While inquisitiveness is a valuable avenue for education, the stigma associated with steroids has led to insufficient and oftentimes inaccurate information online, leaving a void filled by myths and hearsay.

Regrettably, this shortfall of credible resources can put those seeking knowledge at risk of harming themselves in the absence of authoritative guidance.

Steroids questions and answers - Steroids FAQ.

As such, within this manual, we are dedicated to addressing prevalent inquiries concerning anabolic steroids—for educational and harm minimization purposes—allowing our audience to gain informed perspectives on their impact, which affects over 3 million individuals in the U.S., grounded in scientific research and supplemented by our empirical observations.

1. Do Steroids Pose Health Risks?

Certainly, anabolic steroids pose health risks, as cardiovascular complications are inevitable to some extent with any variant consumed.

This stems from steroids being synthetic versions of testosterone, which invariably influence the balance of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels unfavorably.

Our experience has also shown that other adverse effects commonly occur, some of which include:

  • Hepatic impairment
  • Severe acne
  • Prostate gland enlargement
  • Testosterone deficiency
  • Pattern baldness
  • Fluid retention
  • Breast tissue development in men
Liver Failure FB 1

Certain steroids, recognized as mild and even endorsed by the FDA (e.g., Anavar, Deca Durabolin, and Testosterone), are more tolerable.

On the other hand, some steroids can severely compromise organ function and potentially be fatal.

A more nuanced question might be, “Are the risks stemming from steroid use justified?”. The answer depends on individual goals and their personal risk threshold.

For those with a familial predisposition to heart disease, regularly using potent steroids like Dianabol or Anadrol would be ill-advised.

Conversely, there are individuals who, fully aware of the hazards, willingly compromise their health—or even their lives—for competitive accolades in bodybuilding. For them, steroids may be deemed a worthwhile trade-off, at least in the short run.

2. Is it Illegal to Use Steroids?

Indeed, it is against the law to use anabolic steroids for aesthetic enhancement in nearly every nation, with a few exceptions like Mexico and Thailand.

In the United States, they are categorized as Schedule III controlled substances, whereas in the United Kingdom, they fall under Class C drugs.

Nonetheless, steroids are permissible for therapeutic applications when prescribed by a medical professional.

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For instance, a physician may prescribe testosterone cypionate for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) to normalize testosterone levels in a man diagnosed with hypogonadism.

At one time, anabolic steroids were legal for non-medicinal use, as reflected by the ease with which bodybuilders during the golden era could obtain a prescription to enhance muscle gain.

However, the detrimental side effects were largely unknown then and thus were not regulated by the FDA.

3. Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Use Steroids?

Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger has openly acknowledged his use of steroids, acknowledging that six decades back, the knowledge of the long-term consequences of steroids among bodybuilders was limited.

Those who competed alongside Arnold have vaguely referenced the types of steroids used, notably: Dianabol, Primobolan, and Deca Durabolin.

In his autobiography, “Total Recall,” Arnold expresses:

“I voraciously consumed all the data on the training protocols utilized by the East Germans and the Russians. It gradually became evident through murmurs that they were attaining superior athletic achievements with the help of performance-enhancing substances. Once I ascertained steroids were the implicated drugs, I sought out a physician to experience their effects firsthand.”

Reflecting on that era, Arnold describes that steroid rules were non-existent, and thus, there was no ban or stigma as seen in modern sports.

Recounting his dialogue with a doctor who prescribed him steroids, Arnold says:

“Can you let me try it?” I asked, and he agreed. He prescribed an injection bi-weekly with oral tablets to take in the interim. His instruction was, “Use these until the competition concludes.”

This exchange provides a clear indication of the specific types of steroids Arnold was administered in his initial regimen.

Given the context, it is apparent Arnold’s primary objective was to achieve substantial muscular growth to dominate the bodybuilding stage, captivating both the audience and the adjudicators. Consequently, the compounds he used were selected for their effectiveness in mass augmentation, combining injectable and oral forms.It is understood that the injection was given bi-weekly, and at least one of the drugs caused fluid retention—it’s noted by Arnold in a subsequent section that much of his muscle increase was actually due to water weight.

The oral medication Arnold was prescribed is well characterized by Dianabol (methandrostenolone).

Primobolan is the injectable steroid believed to be in use, a favored choice during the 60s and 70s. Frank Zane’s workout journal ‘Mind, Body, Spirit’ appears to substantiate this (refer to the excerpt below):

Frank Zanes Poem Revealing Golden Era Steroid Cycles 1 1
  • Diana bowl refers to Dianabol
  • Prima bowl denotes Primobolan

Additionally, the dosages are revealed through veiled language in the poem, where ‘100 miles’ signifies 100mg of Primobolan weekly and 15 “milly Gramola” indicates a daily dose of 15mg of Dianabol.

4. The Expense of Steroids

We’ve sourced a pricing guide from a reliable anonymous insider in the bodybuilding sphere.

Listed below are UK prices with the US dollar conversions noted in parentheses (exchange rate valid at the time of documentation).

Expense for Injectable Steroids

  • Testosterone Enanthate 250mg/ml (25 ampoules): £120 / $167
  • Testosterone Propionate 100mg/ml 10ml vial (25 ampoules): £45 / $63

A cycle of testosterone enanthate at 300mg for 8 weeks would approximately cost £50 / $69.

Expense for Oral Steroids

  • Anavar 100 x 20mg tablets: £165 / $229
  • Dianabol 1000 x 5mg tablets: £190 / $264
  • Winstrol 100 x 25mg tablets: £65 / $90

Expense for PCT Medications

  • Clomid 50 (50mg) tablets: £35 / $49
  • Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) 50 (20mg) tablets: £35 / $49

Expense for Fat Loss Medications

  • Clenbuterol 400 (20mcg) tablets: £70 / $97
  • Ephedrine 100 (30mg) tablets: £25 / $35

Buyers should remain wary of vendors offering prices significantly lower than these as it often means the products are either diluted or inert.

5. The Extent of Muscle Gain from Steroids

The muscle mass gained with steroid use varies based on factors like the specific steroids used, genetics, training, and dietary habits.

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From our experience, Anavar, being moderately anabolic, may lead to a muscle gain of about 15 pounds.

On the other hand, Trenbolone has been known to yield up to 30 pounds of lean muscle in a single cycle.

Steroids that are intended for bulking are typically more effective for muscle and weight gain than those used for cutting. Below is a list of common bulking steroids:

  • Anadrol
  • Dianabol
  • Testosterone
  • Deca Durabolin
  • Trenbolone
  • Superdrol

Over time, we have witnessed men putting on 50–60 pounds when they shift from being natural to using steroids across multiple cycles.

6. Do Steroids Have a Lasting Effect?

Clinical data suggest a lasting impact from steroid use on the muscle cells’ myonuclei (1).

Research involving untrained mice, which received steroids (testosterone) and exhibited significant muscle growth, supports this. Post-steroid cycle, their size reverted. Yet, when these mice trained later without steroids, they experienced 30% more growth than those without prior steroid exposure.

While muscle gains from steroid use may disappear if one becomes inactive, gains can potentially be retained naturally with continued weight training.

Arnold Schwarzenegger may exemplify these lasting gains, maintaining impressive muscle density well into his senior years.

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Another permanent repercussion of steroid use is its impact on internal body fat—visceral fat (VF)—levels.

A study showed that men who previously used steroids had a higher VF level than those who hadn’t (2). VF is concealed around the organs, leading to a distended stomach appearance, also acknowledged as ‘steroid gut’ within bodybuilding circles, primarily caused due to reduced insulin sensitivity.

Therefore, even after discontinuing steroids, an individual may sustain an elevated percentage of VF later in life.

7. The Likelihood of Acne

Acne vulgaris frequently emerges as an androgenic side effect, with some steroids exacerbating acne more significantly, causing individuals prone to acne to avoid certain compounds.

Treatment with antibacterial creams, especially those containing benzoyl peroxide, has helped numerous patients in our clinic by eliminating dead skin cells and reducing acne. If this condition persists, an antibiotic regimen might prove successful.Individuals might seek out Accutane for its strong capacity to diminish the actions of sebaceous glands, which when excessively active, produce large amounts of sebum, an oily substance. By controlling sebum production, Accutane can address the fundamental issue that leads to acne: the obstruction of pores by excess sebum.

Accutane, known by the trade name Roaccutane from its maker Roche, is remarkably powerful. Yet, it must be approached with caution due to its potential to provoke a range of side effects, some serious, including mental health challenges and risks of suicide. As per our observations, while some individuals might encounter merely mild side effects such as dryness in various areas like the nose, skin, ears, eyes, and joints, the need for responsible use remains critical.

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The availability of Accutane on the illicit market is relatively restricted, and as a consequence, its cost is significantly high.

8. Will Steroids Affect my Sex Drive?

Strong androgenic steroids are commonly associated with an increase in sex drive among users.

Conversely, steroids with weaker androgenic effects, such as Deca Durabolin, can lead to a diminished sex drive.

Therefore, combining Deca Durabolin with a compound that has strong androgenic properties—like Testosterone, Anadrol, or Trenbolone—can help in offsetting any decline in sexual desire.

Note: It’s notable that following the conclusion of a steroid cycle, one might experience a reduced libido as a result of a drop in naturally produced testosterone. Depending on the substances used and the post-cycle therapy (PCT) approach, these symptoms could linger for a varied time frame.

9. Do I Need to Run a PCT (Post-Cycle Therapy)?

Not every steroid user is required to undergo PCT, especially when employing milder steroids like Primobolan and Anavar that have only a moderate impact on the body’s own testosterone levels, as evidenced by SHBG tests.

However, PCT can be instrumental for many in both physical and mental recovery following a steroid cycle.

For bodybuilders, the notion of suffering from low testosterone levels for months after a cycle is unfavourable, and an appropriate PCT can appreciably shorten this waiting period.

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Physiologically speaking, PCT helps maintain the body in an anabolic state conducive to muscle growth, solidifying the gains from a cycle. Improved sexual health post-cycle is another benefit reported by our patients, as it commonly suffers, leading to reduced libido and weaker erections.

Men may report feelings of fatigue and low energy after a cycle, which correlates with the common side effect of reduced testosterone.

On a psychological level, a well-conducted PCT can bolster confidence and overall well-being due to the role of testosterone in augmenting brain dopamine levels, a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of pleasure. When dopamine levels are low, it can contribute to issues such as depression or anxiety.

10. Can Anabolic Steroids Make You Depressed?

Instances of depression triggered by anabolic steroids have been documented in certain individuals, stemming from the decline in endogenous testosterone production. As previously noted, testosterone’s role in enhancing dopamine levels is vital for mental health, and its deficiency following a steroid cycle could, at least temporarily, impair mental well-being.

11. Are Steroids Addictive?

The addictive nature of anabolic steroids is evident in numerous individuals, as documented by their profound impact on body composition and mental state.

Studies indicate that about 1 million Americans have developed a dependence on anabolic-androgenic steroids.

Such a dependency may lead to later regrets by users about starting steroids, as suggested by the noted bodybuilder Sergio Oliva, who described steroids as a “monkey on his back.” Under our care, patients usually only express a desire to discontinue use due to severe health consequences.

12. Where Do I Inject Steroids?

A common site for steroid injections is the gluteus maximus, given its large size and depth.

For beginners to steroid use, injection into this muscle is recommended due to the lesser need for precision.

where to inject steroids 1

Injection should be intramuscular, directly into the muscle tissue.

Injections into veins are to be avoided due to the risk of severe consequences such as paralysis or even fatality.

13. Do Steroids Make Your Penis Smaller?

Contrary to widespread myths in bodybuilding, our patients have never reported a decrease in penis size as a result of anabolic steroid use.

Steroids also do not contribute to any significant increase in penis size.

It is important to note, however, that steroids can lead to testicular atrophy, or a decrease in testicular size, which occurs due to the suppression of natural testosterone production. We note that this effect is typically temporary, with normal testicular size often resuming after testosterone levels normalize post-cycle.

14. How to Prevent Gynecomastia (Gyno)?

Gynecomastia is an outcome of elevated estrogen levels, which can substantially increase during steroid use due to the aromatization process that converts testosterone into estrogen.

gynecomastia vs normal breast 1

To prevent the onset of gynecomastia, we have found that both aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) can be effective.

15. Steroids That Avoid Provoking Gynecomastia

Based on our knowledge, steroids that do not trigger a rise in female sex hormones such as estrogen or progesterone typically have a minimal likelihood of causing gynecomastia.

Several compounds considered less likely to induce gyno include:

  • Anavar (Oxandrolone)
  • Winstrol (Stanozolol)
  • Turinabol (Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone)
  • Superdrol (Methasterone)

Contrastingly, steroids like Anadrol, Dianabol, and Testosterone carry a higher risk of estrogenic activity, potentially leading to the development of breast tissue in those who are prone.

16. The Impact of Steroids on Erectile Function

While it’s common for steroids to enhance erection quality, some may indeed lead to erectile dysfunction. An example is Deca Durabolin, which is infamously linked to ED when used in isolation. This is attributed to its lower androgenic effects.

Deca Durabolin is observed to diminish nitric oxide production, essential for maintaining adequate blood flow to the penis. However, combining Deca Durabolin with testosterone seems to sustain the required blood flow due to increased androgenicity.

17. Oral vs. Injectable Steroids: Comparative Risks

Oral steroids are often associated with hepatotoxicity, presenting a higher risk to liver health compared to injectable steroids.

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Moreover, oral steroids can adversely affect cardiovascular health due to their influence on hepatic lipase activity during liver metabolism. This can lead to more dramatic cholesterol level changes, potentially increasing the risk of cardiac hypertrophy and heart disease.

Yet, certain oral steroids such as Anavar, Primobolan (Methenolone Acetate), and Testosterone Undecanoate are less risky for liver and heart health and have been safely used by many patients.

Some injectable steroids, like Trenbolone, can be harmful to heart health as well. Therefore, the assumption that oral steroids are categorically worse than injectable steroids is overgeneralized and only partially correct.

18. Safe Use of Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids can indeed be utilized safely under stringent medical supervision at therapeutic dosages, a stance supported by us and other medical professionals globally.

Consequently, there are FDA-approved steroids such as Testosterone, Deca Durabolin, and Anavar, which are used in medical treatments.

Non-FDA-approved steroids, typically used in bodybuilding, pose greater health risks due to their heightened toxicity.

Moreover, bodybuilders acquiring and using anabolic steroids without medical oversight are engaging in hazardous behavior.

In contrast, prescription steroids ensure authenticity, being produced by certified pharmaceutical companies, unlike those obtained from the black market, which come with considerable risk due to illegal operations and lack of regulation.

19. Steroid Efficacy Timeline

Some anabolic steroids exhibit rapid effectiveness. For example, Testosterone Undecanoate has been noted to reach peak serum testosterone levels within a 5-hour window post-administration.

Fast-acting steroids, which are short-ester, do not require lengthy cycles to produce noticeable benefits.

Conversely, steroids such as Deca Durabolin, with longer-ester compositions, take longer to manifest their effects.

Other long-lasting steroids like Testosterone enanthate and cypionate necessitate a minimum of 8 weeks of cycling to yield full potential benefits.

20. Emotional Reactions to Steroid Use

Anabolic steroids have the potential to increase anger, leading to events of ‘roid rage’ in some users.

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Elevated testosterone levels, the hormone implicated with aggression, are typically the cause for these mood alterations.

Nevertheless, individual reactions vary, with some experiencing only mild irritability and moodiness. The prevalence of roid rage among our patients is not significant.

21. Detection of Steroids in Drug Tests

Anabolic steroids are prohibited by sports authorities such as WADA, hence they are generally detectable through drug testing unless specific measures are employed to mask their presence.

Military and police force drug screenings usually focus on substances like marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and opiates, because steroid testing is more expensive.

Yet, if there is openly known steroid usage among army or police personnel, specific steroid testing may be conducted. However, for those who are discreet with their steroid use, it’s less likely to become an issue, despite occasional obvious indications of steroid use.

22. The Link Between Steroids and Hair Loss

Anabolic steroids have been tied to hair loss as they often cause an increase in testosterone levels, which subsequently is converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) through the action of the 5α-reductase enzyme.

The inflammation that DHT causes to the scalp can lead to the weakening and eventual loss of hair by shrinking the hair follicles.

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It is especially the androgenic steroids, either derived from DHT or ones that boost the activity of the 5α-reductase enzyme, that are most likely to speed up this process of hair loss. Some of these include:

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that hair loss often has a genetic factor, and steroids might only expedite a process that a person is genetically inclined towards.

Despite the risk, there are steroid users who retain a full head of hair, often attributed to genetic resilience and naturally lower levels of the 5α-reductase enzyme.

Using milder androgenic steroids, such as Dianabol, Deca Durabolin, or Primobolan, might help to diminish or even prevent hair loss during steroid cycles. Notably, these steroids were popular during bodybuilding’s classic era, when many bodybuilders maintained thick hair.

Note: While hair thinning or loss has been observed to reverse once the steroid cycle is over and DHT levels normalize, this reversal is not guaranteed if adequate time for scalp recovery isn’t allotted between cycles of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS).

23. The Impact of Steroids on Fertility

Indeed, anabolic steroids can negatively impact male fertility. Observational insights, coupled with scientific studies, confirm that steroid use can harm the testicles, leading to reduced sperm count and quality.

This issue is a part of the Mossman-Pacey paradox, where men may enhance traits associated with sexual desirability through steroid use yet inadvertently compromise their fertility in the process.

Excessive testosterone from anabolic steroids suppresses the natural production of LH and FSH by the pituitary gland, hormones that are vital for sperm production and health. This suppression can potentially lead to sterility in men.

Alan Pacey, Professor of Andrology, states:

“I would say more anabolic steroid users are likely to become sterile than you would think – 90 per cent probably.”

Our own observations align with this view.

REFERENCES

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3892473/

(2) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160913184951.htm

(3) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24112239/

(4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CmuCnGrHAk

(5) https://bjui-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10131.x

(6) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joim.12885

(7) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2991700/

(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6302021

General Practitioner at | Website | + posts

Dr. Grant Fourie, a specialist in male hormones, is based in Cape Town, South Africa. He provides comprehensive treatments for conditions related to low testosterone, such as erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and mood changes. His methods include hormone replacement therapy and other modern treatment options.
Contact me via email or phone to book personal appointment in my clinic: The Village Square, Cape Town - South Africa

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About Dr. Grant Fourie

Dr. Grant Fourie, a specialist in male hormones, is based in Cape Town, South Africa. He provides comprehensive treatments for conditions related to low testosterone, such as erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and mood changes. His methods include hormone replacement therapy and other modern treatment options. Contact me via email or phone to book personal appointment in my clinic: The Village Square, Cape Town - South Africa

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